Fitch attributed the difference to its assessment “that the pledged revenues meet the definition of ‘special revenues’ under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and therefore, bondholders are legally insulated from any operating risk of the board.”

Comment: What many don’t understand is that CPS, like so many other Illinois municipalities, is mortgaging every last conceivable asset. In this case, it’s a particular stream of tax revenue. That makes the bonds secured, which are safe even in bankruptcy. But the problem is no assets are left free even in the event of bankruptcy, diminishing the hope that bankruptcy can accomplish much.